‘Honoured’ stars step out as faces of Poppy Appeal

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SINGERS Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott spoke yesterday of the “absolute honour” of performing at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The pair, who are the faces of the Poppy Appeal 2012, were cheered by crowds in Trafalgar Square in London as they headlined a free concert to launch the Legion’s annual fundraising drive.

“It is such an honour to be performing here in Trafalgar Square,” Pixie Lott told the crowds.

Speaking afterwards, Alesha Dixon said: “I think this appeal is important for all of us, it is the one thing that the whole country should come together and support because the soldiers are out there fighting for us, it is a massive, massive sacrifice and I want to say thank you to them.

“I think a lot of the British public do appreciate the sacrifice that they have made and that is why so many people get involved in the Poppy Appeal every single year and wear their poppy with pride.”

The concert featured military bands The Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards and the trumpeters from the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

The appeal’s £42m target is more than the record £40m raised last year.

North of the border, Susan Boyle officially launched the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

She took to the steps outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to declare the appeal open, adding she was “very proud” to help because her father Patrick served in the Second World War.

The act of observing a two-minute silence each year on November 11 began in 1919, following the Armistice agreement between the Allies and Germany at 11am on November 11, 1918, the end of the First World War.

The Royal British Legion spends £1.7m a week on care and support for military families, including grants, employment advice and funding, emotional support, tribunal and inquest advice, care homes and family breaks.

Its work includes help for service personnel returning from Afghanistan as well as those from past conflicts.

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